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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court News ...

Court Issues Order Regarding Request for Emergency Preliminary Injunction in Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Case


As reflected in the Notice, the Supreme Court of South Carolina has requested written comments and has scheduled a public hearing on the South Carolina Bar’s petition to amend Rule 6, SCRCP.


As reflected in the Notice, the Supreme Court of South Carolina has requested written comments and has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed South Carolina Criminal Rules.


In conjunction with the development of the Family Court Case Management System and the Child Support Enforcement System, the Family Court Coversheet has been revised to improve statistical information and reporting in Family Court.


Original Jurisdiction Action Filed by Judge Segars-Andrews


The Motion and Order for Case Assignment to the Business Court Pilot Program, SCCA BC Form 101, bearing a revision date of 12/2009 is approved for use in the Circuit Courts of the State of South Carolina.


The Court has granted the Bar Foundation's request to amend Rule 412, SCACR, concerning the establishment of a more specific comparable interest rate rule for IOLTA. The amendments are effective June 15, 2010.


The Court has approved a number of amendments to Rule 608, SCACR, which were proposed by the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission. The amendments will be effective July 1, 2010.


Family Court Forms
(12/15/2009)

In conjunction with the efforts of the CFS Project Team to develop the statewide Family Court Case Management System (FCCMS) and the Child Support Enforcement System (CSES), all family court domestic relations and juvenile delinquency forms have been revised to promote uniformity and consistency in their use across the state.


Attached is a copy of an Order of Chief Justice Jean H. Toal, dated December 10, 2009, the original of which is filed in our Office. The Order designates Chief Judges and Associate Chief Judges for Administrative Purposes of the Summary Courts. The Order becomes effective January 1, 2010.


The South Carolina Bar has filed a petition to amend Rule 6 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure (SCRCP). A copy of this petition is attached. The Rules Advisory Committee has recommended approval of this rule change.


South Carolina Supreme Court Issues Order in Ethics Commission Case.


By order dated October 6, 2008, a Task Force was established to study and propose revisions to the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Task Force has proposed that the current South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure be replaced with the attached South Carolina Criminal Rules and the Rules Advisory Committee has recommended adoption of the proposed rules. Persons or entities desiring to submit written comments regarding the proposed South Carolina Criminal Rules may do so by filing an original and seven (7) copies of their written comments with the Supreme Court. 


The Board of Law Examiners has extended the filing period for submission of "Request to Participate" forms.


The Court granted a request from the Bar's Rule 608, SCACR, Task Force to end the practice of appointing attorneys as guardians ad litem pursuant to Rule 608. This change is effective July 1, 2010.


The Order for Destruction of Arrest Records (SCCA/223A) bearing a revision date of 11/2009 is approved for use in the Circuit Courts of the State of South Carolina.


IT IS ORDERED that Form SCCA/217, General Sessions Sentence Sheet, bearing a revision date of 11/2009, is approved for use in the Circuit Courts of South Carolina and replaces SCCA 217, bearing a revision date of 06/2009.


IT IS ORDERED that the revisions in the following forms in the Self-Represented Litigant Simple Divorce Packet, with a revision date of (11/2009), are approved.


The Civil Action Coversheet, SCCA/234, bearing a revision date of 11/2009 is approved for use in the Circuit Courts of the State of South Carolina. 


The Board of Law Examiners will allow a limited number of applicants to use laptops to complete their answers to the essay sections of the February 2010 Bar Examination.



The results of the July 2009 Bar Examination have been posted.


Court Amends Briefing Order in Ethics Commission Case


WOLO TV, the ABC affiliate in Columbia, has generously supplied a video of the arguments held in the litigation brought by the Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives against the Ethics Commission.


Additional Briefing to be Submitted in Ethics Commission Case


The results of the July 2009 Bar Examination will be posted on the Bar Admissions Page at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 23, 2009.


In response to the ABA Consultation Team’s recommendations, the Supreme Court has issued an order approving Action Plans for the Lawyer Discipline Process and Action Plans for the Judicial Discipline Process. 


Although closed due to renovations earlier, the Supreme Court library is now open to the public.


IT IS ORDERED, that a Task Force is created to study and make recommendations to the Supreme Court to improve court responses to elder abuse, adult guardianships and conservatorships.


Appointments to the Task Force on State Courts and the Elderly


The Civil Action Coversheet, SCCA/234, bearing a revision date of 10/2009 is approved for use in the Circuit Courts of the State of South Carolina. The coversheet has been amended to include a nature of action code for Motions to Quash a Subpoena for circumstances when the subpoena is issued in a county that is not the county where the civil action is filed.


An order has been issued providing for the filing of returns and replies regarding the petitions for writs of mandamus filed by Governor Sanford and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Additionally, the order schedules oral argument for October 19, 2009.


IT IS ORDERED that the following forms are obsolete and shall be discontinued for use in the Family Courts of South Carolina.


The funeral for the Honorable Wyatt T. Saunders will be at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 4, 2009, at the First United Methodist Church located at 244 West Main Street, Laurens, South Carolina.


The family of the Honorable Berry L. Mobley will hold a visitation from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 1, 2009, at the Mahaffy Funeral Home in Lancaster, South Carolina. The funeral will be at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 2, 2009, at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church located at 1005 University Drive, Lancaster, SC 29721.


Chief Justice Toal is saddened to report the loss of Circuit Court Judge Wyatt T. Saunders and Family Court Judge Berry L. Mobley on September 29, 2009, to their valiant battles with cancer. 


The Supreme Court Library will be closed until further notice.


Effective with cases filed on or after January 1, 2010, the counties in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit join those counties previously designated by this Court for mandatory ADR.


IT IS ORDERED that Carol Clayton Ruff, Attorney at Law, Beaufort County, is hereby assigned to preside over the Drug Court for the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit. 


The Supreme Court has directed that guidelines developed by the South Carolina Bar Task Force on Closing Responsibilities be published as a best practices model.


The Supreme Court has amended Rules 405, 414 and 415, SCACR, relating to limited certificates to practice law in South Carolina.


The Court has approved an amendment to the Answer form for use in Magistrates Court.


IT IS ORDERED that Beaufort County Magistrate D.R. Smith is appointed Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes of the Summary Courts for Beaufort County.


I FIND THAT clarification is needed concerning a magistrate's jurisdiction when conducting a bond hearing on criminal cases that arise from a municipality where the geographical limits extend into more than one county.


On Thursday, August 20, 2009, Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal addressed members of South Carolina's Judiciary at the Annual Judicial Conference.


IT IS ORDERED that the Order dated June 15, 2001 assigning V. Manning Smith to preside over the Drug Court for the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit is hereby rescinded effective immediately.


The Supreme Court has amended Rule 404, SCACR, to further clarify when either the Supreme Court or the tribunal that granted permission to appear pro hac vice may withdraw that permission.


The Court has amended the Lawyer Mentoring Second Pilot Program to provide that it will be administered by the Commission on Continuing Legal Education.


The Supreme Court has amended Rule 608, SCACR, to add the members of the Committee on Character and Fitness, the Commission on Lawyer Conduct and the Commission on Judicial Conduct to those who are exempt from appointments under the rule.


The Supreme Court has amended Rule 402, SCACR, to change the months that Bar Admission Ceremonies will be held from February, May, August and November to February, May, September and November. This amendment is effective October 1, 2009.


The use of personal communication devices has continued to increase dramatically. Accordingly, I find it necessary to supplement my order of August 25, 2000, related to the use of pagers, cell phones, and other personal communication devices in courtrooms, to include the following direction to the court.


Attached is an order of the Chief Justice dated July 17, 2009 amending the authority of chief judges for administrative purposes by adding a provision to allow each administrative judge "to handle matters brought within the circuit pursuant to federal and state statutes regulating the interception of wire, electronic, or oral communications, sexual exploitation, or cyber crime." The Presiding Judge of the State Grand Jury continues to have statewide jurisdiction over these matters. This authority can be found in Items 16 and 17.


The Order for Destruction of Arrest Records (SCCA/223A) bearing a revision date of 07/2009, and the Motion and Order for the Expungement of Juvenile Arrest Records (SCCA 492) bearing a revision date of 07/2009 are approved for use in the Circuit Courts and Family Courts of the State of South Carolina, respectively.


On June 2, 2009, Governor Sanford signed into law Act No. 36, addressing the process for expungement of criminal records in both the circuit and summary courts. This legislation has a significant impact on the summary courts, specifically Section 17-22-950, which requires that, as of June 2, 2009, the summary courts are responsible for expunging the records of all criminal cases disposed in those courts pursuant to Section 17-1-40 (dismissed, nol prossed, or in which the defendant is found not guilty at trial).


I FIND THAT Act No. 36 of 2009 set forth specific procedures for expungement of criminal records statewide, thereby nullifying the need for the previous Order of the Chief Justice outlining expungement procedures statewide.


The Civil Action Coversheet, SCCA/234, bearing a revision date of 07/2009 is approved for use in the Circuit Courts of the State of South Carolina.


On Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at 11:00 a.m., the South Carolina Court of Appeals convened a special term of court to recognize the presentation of the Order of the Palmetto to the Honorable C. Tolbert Goolsby, Jr.


Statutory provisions for the distribution of revenue generated by the magistrates courts and municipal courts


Statutory provisions for the distribution of revenue generated by the circuit courts, and family courts; fees and related charges of the registers of deeds


Statutory provisions for the distribution of revenue generated by the circuit courts, family courts, magistrates courts and municipal courts; fees and related charges of the registers of deeds


IT IS ORDERED that the judges of the magisterial courts listed below be designated as Chief Judge or Associate Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes of the Summary Courts in the counties in which they hold office.


The written comments submitted to the Supreme Court regarding the South Carolina Bar Foundation's petition to amend Rule 412 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules (SCACR) have been posted.


IT IS ORDERED that the Chief Magistrate in any county of this State or any Chief Municipal Judge in any municipality of this State may designate an employee(s) of the court to approve bonds on those defendants who previously had an appropriate bond hearing but were unable to make bond at that time.


The Supreme Court has issued an order administratively suspending lawyers under Rule 419, SCACR, for failing to comply with Continuing Legal Education Requirements.


The South Carolina Supreme Court has issued its opinion in the Stimulus Cases.


The Competency to Stand Trial Evaluation orders (SCCA 221 and SCCA 487) and the Criminal Responsibility (McNaughten) Evaluation order (SCCA 222) now include a coversheet stating the form orders should not be altered.


ETV has posted an archived version of the oral arguments presented before the SC Supreme Court to decide whether the state of South Carolina can use $700 million in federal stimulus money.


ETV will provide a live Web stream of the oral arguments presented before the SC Supreme Court to decide whether the state of South Carolina can use $700 million in federal stimulus money.


Answers and Briefs Filed in Stimulus Cases


Time allotments for arguments in the stimulus cases have been amended.


The Honorable Joseph F. Anderson, Jr., United States District Court Judge for the District of South Carolina, has now remanded both the Edwards Action and the SCASA Action to this Court.


As reflected in the Notice, the Supreme Court of South Carolina has requested written comments and has scheduled a public hearing on the South Carolina Bar Foundation’s petition to amend Rule 412, SCACR.



Governor Mark Sanford moves to intervene in this action concerning the Federal Stimulus Act1 funds. He indicates he has a substantial interest in the subject matter of this action and should be permitted to intervene and be joined as a respondent to protect that interest.


On Wednesday, May 27, 2009, at 9:30 a.m., in a special ceremony, the original portrait of The Honorable George Dewey Oxner (1898 - 1962) was presented to the South Carolina Supreme Court.


SC Court of Appeals – Historic Panel Convenes


Supreme Court schedules oral argument in Stimulus Litigation


These are the returns and answers filed in Stimulus Cases


IT IS ORDERED that Judge M.D. Murphy be designated as Associate Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes of the Summary Courts for Dorchester County.


By order issued earlier today, this Court directed the serving and filing of returns and answers in the first matter by noon on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. The Court has now received a second petition relating to the same subject.


This matter is before the Court on a petition in this Court’s original jurisdiction requesting a declaratory judgment that the South Carolina Legislature may request, accept, and distribute the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds, which the General Assembly included in the 2009-10 General Appropriations Bill, and that the Governor must execute the appropriations bill as enacted by the Legislature. Because of the urgency of this matter, respondent shall serve and file its reply to the petition and answer to the complaint no later than noon on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. 


The Chief Justice has issued an administrative order to provide uniform procedures in mortgage foreclosure actions for addressing issues related to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HMP).


The Board of Law Examiners will allow a limited number of applicants to use laptops to complete their answers to the essay sections of the July 2009 Bar Examination. One hundred (100) applicants will be randomly selected from those applicants whose completed “Request to Participate” forms are received no later than June 12, 2009.


At 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, the Supreme Court of South Carolina will hold a ceremony to accept a portrait of Justice George Dewey Oxner.


IT IS ORDERED that pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §17-28-40(A) (Supp. 2008), the attached form SCCA DNA 101 entitled “Application for Forensic DNA Testing” is hereby approved for use in the Circuit and Family Courts of South Carolina. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 17-28-340(B)(1) (Supp. 2008), the attached form SCCA DNA 102 entitled “Petition for an Order Allowing for Disposition of Physical Evidence or Biological Material” is approved for use in the Circuit and Family Courts of South Carolina.


Judicial Elections
(05/13/2009)

Judicial elections were held May 13, 2009.


Although only four out of the twenty-three judges who have been elected to the modern Court of Appeals have been women, on May 27, the three women presently on the court will be making history.


On motion of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Chief Justice has issued a temporary restraining order regarding foreclosure actions that involve loans that are potentially subject to modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HMP).






Rule Amendments
(04/29/2009)

Rule 232 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules has been amended. Additionally, the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules have been amended to reflect the passage of Act No. 413 of 2008, and to renumber various rules. Further, the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and South Carolina Court Annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules have been amended.


The petition in this matter, which was filed in the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of South Carolina, raised several questions relating to federal stimulus funding. By order dated April 22, 2009, the Supreme Court has denied the petition.


The results of the February 2009 Bar Examination have been posted on the Bar Admissions page. 


The results of the February 2009 Bar Examination will be posted on the Bar Admissions page at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2009.


Chief Justice Toal has received reports that county officials are attempting to reduce salaries of magistrates, probate judges, clerks of court, and masters-in-equity in an effort to reduce county expenditures. Any attempt to reduce the salaries of these court officials, either unilaterally or by consent, or asking them to write a check back to the county as reimbursement for compensation received, is contrary to State law.


The Supreme Court has issued an order administratively suspending lawyers under Rule 419, SCACR, for failing to pay license fees and assessments to the South Carolina Bar.


Pursuant to Article V, § 4, of the South Carolina Constitution, Rule 402(d)(1), SCACR, is amended.


South Carolina’s First Central Magistrate’s Court located in Richland County celebrates 30 years of service to citizens.


Some counties and municipalities in the State are attempting to create by local ordinance another tier of courts, typically designated as "administrative hearing courts." The courts are purportedly established for the purpose of hearing smoking infractions, as well as various other local ordinance violations. The creation of these courts is repugnant to the long-standing concept of the state uniform judicial system.


The South Carolina Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, along with South Carolina Legal Services, the South Carolina Bar and South Carolina Court Administration, developed instructions and forms which have been compiled in a Self-Represented Litigant Simple Divorce Packet for plaintiffs and defendants.


The Court has granted the Bar’s petition to amend the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection of the South Carolina Bar Rules of Procedure.


The Supreme Court has issued a uniform policy regarding the granting of extensions in criminal and post-conviction relief cases pending before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.


A House Resolution (H.3686) was introduced and adopted on March 9, 2009 to recognize and commend the Honorable George M. McFaddin, Jr., of Sumter County for his dedicated labors on behalf of children and families, and to congratulate him on being named 2009 Advocate of the Year by the South Carolina Children's Foster Care Review Board (FCRB), a division of the South Carolina Governor's Office.


IT IS ORDERED that Form SCCA/217, General Sessions Sentence Sheet, bearing a revision date of 03/2009, is approved for use in the Circuit Courts of South Carolina and replaces SCCA 217, bearing a revision date of 07/2008.


The Civil Action Coversheet, SCCA/234, bearing a revision date of 03/2009 is approved for use in the Circuit Courts of the State of South Carolina. The coversheet has been amended to have a nature of action code for Transfer of Structured Settlement Payment Rights Applications. The nature of action code will be 760.


IT IS ORDERED that the revised Affidavit of Indigency and Application for Counsel forms bearing the revision date of (2/2009) are approved for use in the Circuit and Family Courts of South Carolina. SCACRVIFORM02GS should be used in Circuit Court for General Sessions cases. SCACRVIFORM02DR should be used in Family Court domestic relations cases, including child abuse and neglect proceedings. SCACRVIFORM02JU should be used in Family Court juvenile delinquency proceedings.



Chief Justice Jean H. Toal delivered her State of the Judiciary address to the General Assembly today, February 25, 2009, at 11:00 a.m.


Due to a schedule change, Justice Toal's address will be delivered at 11:00 a.m. instead of noon.


Pursuant to Article V, § 4, of the South Carolina Constitution, any references to S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-10 et. seq. in previous Orders and Administration Orders shall be deemed references to S.C. Code Ann. Sections 63-1-10 et seq.


The Court has amended Rules 1.0 and 1.15(f), RPC, Rule 407, SCACR, concerning the definition of the term depository institution. The Court has also amended Rule 412, SCACR, to correctly state a credit union is insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.


Chief Justice Jean H. Toal will deliver her State of the Judiciary address to the General Assembly on February 25, 2009 at 12:00 p.m.


IT IS ORDERED that SCCA 430, Financial Declaration, bearing a revision date of (2/2009), is approved for use in the Family Courts of South Carolina.


Judicial Elections
(02/11/2009)

Judicial elections were held February 11, 2009. 


The Court has amended Rule 33(a), SCRCP, to correct an internal citation within the rule.


The Court has amended Rules 225, 608, and Cannon 3, Rule 501, SCACR, to correct a number of internal references based on the fact the General Assembly transferred the South Carolina Children’s Code from S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-10 et seq. to a new title in the Code, Title 63.



Supreme Court order regarding legal rate of interest for judgments and money decrees.